Finally Samsung has perfected its mid-segment game with the 2017 variants of Galaxy A phones. But it has priced the Galaxy A7– the bigger screen variant, so close to the flagship Galaxy S7 that you might want to wait for a price drop or rather raise your budget and buy the latter instead.

Galaxy A series of 2017 has seen a major design change. It is not a surprising shift though as every year, Samsung takes up its best-selling flagship phone, restructures some elements around it, replaces the hardware with ones more suitable for the price. Voila, a new phone is ready.

On paper the phones might look mid-range, but both the Galaxy A5 and the Galaxy A7 2017 have premium solid metal built with a smooth glass back and are made waterproof – hardly apart from the S7 in form and feel. Galaxy S7’s design is one of the best Samsung has ever made and in fact, the company has extrapolated the curved variant to the same to Note 7 and the latest Galaxy S8. Rumours say it will be so with the upcoming Note 8 as well.

Compared to bare metal phones like the iPhone 6S, it not only feels premium and luxurious but it’s quite a workable structure for the Indian environment. Use the iPhone 6S outdoors during summers, or just keep it on the car dashboard and it’s is sure to get burning hot within a few minutes. The glass back prevents that from happening to a great extent.

To top that, Galaxy A7 is water proof, has its speaker placed on the side which allows for better sound during gaming and has no camera bump at rear. You can add two SIM cards and still have space for expanding storage via micro SD card.

The fingerprint sensor on the Galaxy A7 2017 is a little choppy and that is infuriating sometimes. It is not a flaw you would expect from a mid-range smartphone that comes from best-selling company in the world.

But that is smaller of the two reasons why you may not buy the new Galaxy A7. The phone runs an Exynos 7880 Octa chipset with 3GB RAM and 32 GB of storage. It is a mid-range chipset to say the least. In performance numbers, the Exynos 7880 Octa might be similar to the Snapdragon 625, but it’s a bummer in terms of efficiency. The phone lasts a day on usual workload, but try to squeeze out a couple of hours of video playback and you might need to charge it before the day ends.

With Galaxy S7 priced under Rs 40,000, it seems logical to ask – isn’t it a better buy over the A7? The answer would depend on two things, your willingness to let go of the big screen and to pay more. If you are willing then Galaxy S7 is better for you in every aspect and there is no reason to get the new Galaxy A7.

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If you need best mix of price and performance without sacrificing the screen size, the Galaxy C7 Pro is in fact the Samsung device you should buy. Samsung has used the same software across devices as also mentioned in the Galaxy A5 review that is the TouchWiz interface build over the Android Marshmallow 6.0.

Anyway, apart from built quality, there is one more area the Galaxy A7 shines as mid-ranger – cameras. The phone’s 16-megapixel camera, both in the front and the rear deliver great photos. The colours are punchy, low light shots are crisp and details are reproduced nicely on the screen. The auto focus is nowhere as good as the S7’s, but in every other aspect it can compete with the flagship.

Verdict

Samsung Galaxy A7 (2017) isn’t the best device to buy at Rs 33,490. But in a way the shuffle works, simply because you get premium look and feel at a lower cost. You let go of the flagship (and its monstrous price) but you still get its benefits, well, most of them. There are always cheaper options like the Galaxy C7 Pro or the OnePlus 3T that are in fact better performing devices or the Galaxy S7 that offers you best of both worlds. But at strictly this price, this screen size, with these premium features and the Black Onyx colour, Galaxy A7 (2017) is the device to buy.